DISCLAIMER: This post is mainly for friends, is not comprehensive, and I don’t guarantee anything here except I’ve posted my opinions and experience and there are certainly other ways to get started.
In this how to start gaming on Youtube post I’m coming from the point-of-view of a very small channel with 670+ subscribers and over 350,000 views as of 4/29/2015. This will be a very basic how to get started post, and will not cove everything – just the basics. Since my Wildcard66Gamer Youtube channel is small I can tell you how to get started, but not how to make a million bucks doing it. Here is a quick breakdown of what I’ll discuss:
- Getting a Youtube Partnership & Why
- Recording Equipment
- View & Subscriber Expectations
Getting a Youtube Partnership & Why
If you want to monetize your videos (make money by displaying ads on your videos) you need a Youtube Partnership. The basic reasons to get a Youtube Partnership are to make money from your videos, and track and upload your videos. I’m going to recommend, however, that if you want to upload gaming videos you do not partner with Youtube directly, although you can do that.
I’m going to recommend you start with a partner called Social Blade because they have a decent program in my estimation and their requirements (views per month) were the lowest I found when I was looking. Social Blade’s requirements for a partnership as of April 2015 are a minimum of 500 views per month, not having any content on your channel that you do not own necessary copyrights to use and some more stuff, so check out the link and read that Social Blade FAQ if you are interested. Social Blade’s partnership with Youtube was valuable to me because they provide legal services and protection with video game makers as well as guidelines to help you stay out of trouble. If you apply and Social Blade accepts you then after you sign their legally binding contract (again read that Social Blade link for details) you will also get access to some royalty free music. They will also help you get more eyeballs on your videos and you have opportunities to meet other Social Blade gaming partners and do videos with them.
Social Blade (or actually Social Blade + RPM Networks + Maker Studios) takes part of your earnings, which is part of the contract and is how they do business to (among other things) offer you the support & services they offer. Youtube takes about 50% of your earnings and Social Blade will take a percentage of the remaining 50% that’s your for their services & support – its more than you are making now, but if your channel takes off you are looking at a 1 year max for their standard contract for beginning partners. You could try to join RPM Network or Maker Studios directly but their requirements for monthly views are certainly higher.
GETTING STARTED: I’m going to tell you where I started and you can jump in wherever your investment cash can get you. At first I had a cheap HD camera on a tripod and I recorded Crysis 2 over my shoulder. This was cheap because my HD camera was cheap and I didn’t need any microphone because the HD cam recorded sound from my speakers and me talking. Even though it was very amateur, I got some people watching as month passed, and I was encouraged enough to buy some recording gear.
The Roxio Game Capture on the Xbox 360 (at first) and PS3 (then later) was my first real recording device for capturing game play. The Roxio came with its own video editing software that did some really cool stuff, which meant I only needed my gaming console, video game, and the microphone on my gaming headsets to record my gaming commentary. I checked around and found Audacity (free) to record and edit the commentary to add to my video.
The trouble was that the Roxio Game Cap used Component Video cables to connect to the monitor/TV and none of my monitors had Component Video cables inputs, so I had to get a converter. The converter was $30-$50 at the time I got it and it worked fine on the Xbox 360. When I switched to the PS3 later I found that the converter caused the video on my monitor to be very dark (although the recorded video was nice and bright).
Next, about the time the PS4 came out I got a Hauppauge HD PVR2 Gaming Edition, although they have several devices you may want to look into and compare what they do and what you want. The Hauppauge HD PVR2 Gaming Edition is about $150 direct from the manufacturer but you can find them cheaper on Amazon.com.
With the HD PVR2 Gaming Edition I had to provide my own video editing software. I got Corel VideoStudio Pro (currently version 8) which is running about $80. It will probably take you some time to learn to use Corel VideoStudio Pro to do the things you want like putting different clips together and adding audio. I continued using Audacity to record my commentary, although I needed to add a Blue Microphones Snowball for about $60 on Amazon (this model has 3 mic settings, the one for about $50 had one). You could use the Snowball ic for both gaming commentary and for chatting with friends while you game on the PS4.
View & Subscriber Expectations
When I began doing videos it was just for fun to shed light on some moments I just thought were ludicrous or very interesting. I had no intention of making money. If you are going to start out wanting to make money just realize you may not have many subscribers (if any) the first few months and your number of views will be very low also.
Having low expectations will help you not to be disappointed to the point that you quit before your channel actually takes off. If your channel takes off quickly and you have low expectations you will be encouraged. If you are organized, post on some reliable schedule, and provide interesting content, you will get viewers and views as time goes on. There are many things to do to make sure you drive more eyeballs on your videos, but this basic post won’t go into that.
Summary and Wrap-Up
So I’ve mentioned some good ideas to get started, although there certainly are other alternatives. I haven’t mentioned the different headsets I’ve owned because there have been several. If your overall expectations for earnings, subscribers to your channel and views of your videos is reasonable enough you should be encouraged to give gaming on Youtube a try long enough to see if you have the knack for it.
There are many other issues you will need to contend with such as copyright issues, adding value to the videos you record, how often to post videos etc etc, but the info here should save you countless hours, even if you make other choices than the ones I’ve presented.